The Book of V by Anna Solomon
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction
BUG Rating: 4/5
Overall: I’ve had this on my shelf for a while now, and just hadn’t got round to picking it up – I’m disappointed in myself, as it was SO good! Huge thank you to Henry Holt Books for my advance copy 📆 Out May 5th!
🔎 The book is ALL about what it is to be a woman and how this changes (but also doesn’t) throughout time as we follow a Queen from 462BC, a senator’s wife in the 70s, and a second wife in 2016.
Despite being years (centuries!) apart, at its core, these women are all the same: coming of age, navigating sex, desire, marriage & motherhood (for some) and coming to understand and challenge a woman’s place in the world.
I found the stories really interesting, the characters so rich, I quickly got sucked into each of their lives. I loved Ester’s and Vee’s stories the most, and cared a little bit less for Lily’s but I still enjoyed it.
The writing and storytelling was fantastic, and there’s quite a few layers to this story, which I don’t want to go into too much out of fear I’ll reveal too much!
I found this book very different to anything I’ve read before (although it kind of gave me Silence of the girls meets Three women meets The Hours vibes) and definitely deserves ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
For fans of historical fiction with a feminist twist – this one’s for you!
Lily is a mother and a daughter. And a second wife. And a writer, maybe? Or she was going to be, before she had children. Now, in her rented Brooklyn apartment, she’s grappling with her sexual and intellectual desires while also trying to manage her roles as a mother and a wife.
Vivian Barr seems to be the perfect political wife, dedicated to helping her charismatic and ambitious husband find success in Watergate-era Washington D.C. But one night he demands a humiliating favor, and her refusal to obey changes the course of her life—along with the lives of others.
Esther is a fiercely independent young woman in ancient Persia, where she and her uncle’s tribe live a tenuous existence outside the palace walls. When an innocent mistake results in devastating consequences for her people, she is offered up as a sacrifice to please the king, in the hopes that she will save them all.